President Donald Trump listens as Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, now the president's national security adviser, talks at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla, Feb. 20, 2017.
Still, North Korea has warned that it, too, is prepared to stage a pre-emptive strike, and the US and South Korean militaries were on alert for a possible sixth nuclear test or other provocation this month even before the strike on Syria.
The consideration for military proliferation in South Korea comes amidst rising tensions in the region, as the North launched ballistic missile tests on Wednesday morning in another provocative act.
Trump ordered the strike in Syria in response to a deadly chemical weapons attack on Syrians.
The former senior vice foreign minister also said the US missile attack on Syria could cut both ways - it could work as a deterrent toward the North or it could push Pyongyang into a corner.
Tensions have been even higher than usual over the past few weeks because annual war games between the USA and South Korean militaries are underway.
"In the long term, USA military actions overseas won't help curb the North's nuclear pursuit", Kim said.
North Korean ballistic missile launch condemned by UN Security Council
However Reuters subsequently reported that White House officials determined the missile was a liquid-fuel scud . President Donald Trump in Florida, where North Korea is expected to be a prime topic of discussions.
Kim, the dictator, has been hinting that an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea's founding president and celebrated annually as 'the Day of the Sun'. It signed on to toughened sanctions and suspended coal imports from the North through the end of the year.
And exercising the military option added some extra weight to Trump's recent threat of unilateral action against Pyongyang if Beijing fails to help curb its neighbor's nuclear weapons program. Four-star Gen. Jack Keane, who told Fox News that the USA was "rapidly and dangerously heading towards the reality that the military option is the only one left when it comes to getting North Korea to denuclearize and not weaponized [intercontinental ballistic missiles]".
The question then arises as to what impact the United States president's willingness to exercise his military muscle may have on China's thinking.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed the launch but said in a statement "the United States has spoken enough about North Korea".
With some observers now talking about the possibility of US military action against North Korea, a lawmaker from Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday said such a scenario was unlikely as a military strike against the North could precipitate a nuclear attack on the South or Japan.
Washington denies it has any intention of invading the North.